With so many greats gone, so much promise is gone. The sporting world which has lost greats such as Kobe Bryant [NBA legend], Rocky Johnson [WWE Hall of Fame wrestler] and Balbir Singh Sr [Hockey player], this year, lost another legend with the passing away of footballer Diego Armando Maradona.
The Argentinian died on Wednesday night after suffering from a heart attack. His death has left the entire world mourning.
Known for his footballing skills and control, Maradona touched people with his smile, his passion for the game and his charm.
On November 4, Maradona underwent a successful surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was recently released from hospital and was rehabilitating at home.
The death of the Argentinian football legend, who celebrated his 60th birthday on October 30 caught everyone off guard.
Soon after the news of his passing was announced, the world of sports went into mourning even as tributes began pouring in for the Argentinian great. Ahead of their respective Champions League group stage matches, a plethora of European clubs paid tribute to the departed legend. Clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich observed silence ahead of their matches.
Football greats Pele, Zinedine Zidane, IM Vijayan, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, among others paid rich tributes to Maradona.
Legendry player Pelé said: “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.”
During a UEFA Champions League press conference, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane paid an emotional tribute to Maradona, saying, “He left his mark on me, on my mind, especially in 1986 because he was sensational at that time. It’s really at that moment that I became aware of the player he was, making differences as he did. He won games single-handedly. That’s the extra thing he had over the other players. In 1986, he was on another level.”
Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, who was coached by Maradona from 2008 to 2010, said, “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments I lived with him and I send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”
Sharing an old photo he had taken with Maradona, Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo took to Twitter to bid farewell to an ‘eternal genius’.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten,” Ronaldo tweeted.
Indian footballing legend IM Vijayan who met Maradona during the latter’s 2012 visit to Kannur in Kerala, took to Twitter to share a photo of both of them and paid his respects to Maradona, tweeting: “RIP God of Football.”
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli also poured in his tributes calling Maradona a true genius. “RIP Diego Maradona. He changed the way the beautiful game of football is played. True genius,” Virat tweeted on his official Twitter handle.
Many big names from various industries across the world, joined fans in paying tribute to arguably, the greatest footballer to ever lace a pair of football cleats. Argentina has announced three days of national mourning for the football legend.
Meanwhile, Queen of Pop Madonna is trending on Twitter thanks to a few confused and ignorant fans.
Several fans mistook Maradona's name as Madonna and went ahead to pay rich tributes to the singer. Considering twitter was flooded with tribute messages for both the legends, the rumour around Madonna's death spread far and wide on Twitter.